Ahhh. Once your tree is up and fluffed you are ready for LIGHTS unless you are a lucky one that has a prelit that works!

I feel like putting on lights takes me longer than assembly and fluffing combined!

So….do you start top to bottom or bottom to top? Pretty sure there’s no right or wrong but I like to start at the top. Ending at the bottom places the plug near the outlet plus if I end up with extra lights it’s easier to disperse in the larger branches at the bottom.

Tip # 1 Before you begin gather your lights. How many is too many? The rule of thumb is 100 Christmas lights per foot so this 12 foot tree would get 12,000 lights.

Tip #2 Next, plug in each strand to ensure they work and save your sanity!!!

Tip #3 I take the top piece off my tree and climb on down the ladder with it. I secure the end of the first light strand to the top using a garland tie which hid the plug part.

Next, I wound lights around the top section of the tree from the comfort of the floor vs perched on the ladder. I pop it back on and continued winding downward.

The top of the tree is usually pretty full so just wind horizontally until the branches get longer and more spread out.

Tip #4 At the point where branches are longer and further apart I like to wind the light from the trunk to the tip, over the tip and back to the trunk then to the next branch.

The red marking is an attempt to show the light pattern.

This is more time consuming but well worth it. Placing lights deep in the tree makes it look more organic and similar to the prelit varieties.

Tip #5 Garland ties come in handy as you connect plugs. The pine twist hides the eyesore and fastens the lights to the branch.

Last step….. turn on the tree lights adjust a bit to even things out if needed.

I’m ALWAYS super critical of my lights and drive myself crazy adjusting and tweaking. I have to remind myself that it’s just fine because there are still 2 more layers to trimming the tree….ribbon and ornaments.

Edited to add that I bought 2 boxes of small sphere lights at Target to zig zag across the front of the tree. All of my lights are warm white- stay consistent and watch the boxes!

I thought the tiny spheres would be interesting dotted across the unlit tree. I recommend this BEFORE adding your ribbon garland so aren’t ducking and weaving. It was a spontaneous decision for me after I was well into the ribbon step {see the next blog for ribbon garland tips}.

That being said next year I think I’m asking Santa Claus for a new prelit!!!

Happy holidays – Kristen

Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

DIY Blogger, Personal Organizer and Designer

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